Monthly Archives: December 2015

Happy New Year!

I had my final walk around the wood near the house for 2015 in the rain. It could be the final walk, as many of the conifers are due to be felled early in the new year. The wood has brought me many hours of creativity over the last year and that I will miss it when it is gone. I will miss my walks too as even in the worst of weathers you can still enjoy a relatively dry and comfortable walk.

It is likely that 2016 will bring us more rain and floods, but as the final leaves of 2015 are blown away let us hope for new growth.

May 2016 bring us lots of laughter. May we find time to indulge our creativity and no matter what life throws at us may we will find the grace to deal with it. And may the sun shine through it all.

Wishing you all a very happy and peaceful New Year.

Year end

As the year draws to a close it is always a good time to reflect on the last 12 months as well as look forward.

I think this year the weather has really dominated my posts. Our climate influences so much of what we do from gardening to enjoying a day outdoors! And certainly this year’s messed up seasons has had an impact. From days on the beach in APRIL in t-shirt and shorts when it would usually be hats and gloves; to a cool, wet summer that meant a poor harvest; to storm Desmond and the gloom of constant grey days of late winter.

It is more than likely that the weather is a result of the El Nino as well as climate change but I wonder if what we are experiencing is a glimpse into the future and that there is more of this in  store for us. With this in mind for 2016 I need to think more about the crops we grow and how to grow them better and make better use of our space.

I also have been thinking a lot about our wildlife and how we can make more room for it in our garden. More bird boxes are planned. I would love to create a wildflower haven in the area that has been cleared to widen the road at the end of our lane. I also need to get more wildflowers in our meadow and more pollinator friendly flowers into the bee and butterfly garden. So over the next week I will start making plans including the fun part of looking at seed catelogues. This year I’ve been trailing more seed saving too but the proof will come in the spring as to whether this has been a success or not!

So roll on 2016 and let’s hope it is a bit drier than 2016! Wishing you all a wonderfully productive New Year:)




Happy Christmas

Thank you to all you who have taken time over the last year to read my posts and to comment. It’s lovely to be part of this wordpress community.

May you all have a wonderful festive season.

This year we have chosen a small birch tree instead of an evergreen tree to be our Christmas tree. The tree had to come out anyway as it was growing to near an ash tree.


Happy Winter Solstice

Today is the Winter Solstice and I find myself breathing a sigh of relief. At least from now the days will be getting longer and not shorter. And what is more we have had the sun out for most of the day and I got a lovely walk. This in one of my favourite trees in the neighbourhood – an old ash tree, gnarled and worn with a great cavity. A true elder of our community, who has seen many winter solstices.

Wishing you all a very Happy Winter Solstice

Old ash

Old ash

December Sun!

We actually saw the sun this morning! I think this may be the first time in December that we have had a sunny dawn. I was thinking of our ancestors and how they would cope without light. We are so lucky to have electric lights and warm houses, and yet I struggle with these grey days in the depths of winter.



I wonder how I would have managed with candles, turf fires, no insulation except for thick stone walls? I think our ancestors were made of hardier stock.

Traditional Irish cottage in ruins

Traditional Irish cottage in ruins

A big surprise

This is what we woke to this morning. It was only forecast for higher ground, which we are not, so it was a big surprise, especially for the kids.

But it was already raining when they got outside. The cold eventually drove the youngest inside but not before the first snowman was made. My son stayed out longer and added an umbrella in the hope that it may keep the rain off for a while. I expect it will be all gone in a couple of hours!

Snow is not common in Western Ireland and considering we’ve hardly had any cold weather this winter, it was a lovely treat for the kids today!

Storm Desmond

Storm Desmond deposited over 100mm of rain on us in about 36 hours, about the same amount of rain we’d usually have in the whole month of December.

River Gweestion in flood

River Gweestion in flood

The river, which lies a couple of miles from our house, usually flows between the two rows of trees.

This is usually a field!

The road was impassible for about 24 hours till the flood waters went down a little. I’ve never seen it closed before.

With climate change we can only expect more of these events.